Saturday, December 1, 2012

YourVersion targeted by Chinese hackers

One of my favorite Web services, YourVersion, was down for about a day earlier this week and I got nervous.
I’ve seen Web services disappear overnight before. But the next day it was up and running again. Thank goodness for that.
YourVersion is a personalized news service that is great for tracking niche subjects. I use it at Tech-media-tainment to do standing Web searches for information on things like “mancations” and year-ahead predictions. I’ve used the service for two years.
On Monday, Nov. 26, I couldn’t access YourVersion. I kept getting a MySQL server connection error. Concerned about this, I contacted YourVersion co-founder and CEO Dan Olsen.
Olsen e-mailed me to say that YourVersion noticed the problem on Monday and thought it might be a problem with a specific Amazon Web Services server. They switched to a new server but the problem persisted, he said.
YourVersion service was restored Monday night, but was very slow, Olsen said. So they continued investigating. He followed up with me Wednesday morning with an update.
“After further investigation, it looks like hackers have been hitting our server (looks like from China). Makes sense since we didn’t change anything and we ruled out any problem with our Amazon server itself by switching servers,” Olsen said. YourVersion made changes to block the hackers. “Hopefully that will be the last of it.”
“This hacker episode was very odd,” Olsen said. “Haven’t seen anything like that happen in the 3+ years since we launched the site.”

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